Rakuten AdRoll (RAKK) is taking a positive and flexible approach to ensure that all employees can work efficiently and enjoyably under the COVID-19 situation.
First and foremost, we began to work from home completely in February 2020, considering the safety of our employees from the COVID-19 pandemic.
We suddenly lost the fun times shared with colleagues during breaks and enthusiastic face-to-face discussions at the office and changed all interactions to online, and through the screen at home. This situation didn’t only happen to Rakuten AdRoll; it was a global phenomenon.
Fortunately, Rakuten AdRoll didn’t experience any problems with its infrastructure, as it employs a variety of communication and security tools, but we had to find a way to make our employees feel comfortable working from their homes, and isolated from each other and the workplace. The leadership team and the WorkPlace & Experience (WPE) team were quick to introduce the “Flextime” system and the “Remote work” system. Under the “Flextime” , employees could be more flexible with their work time. For example, members who work more efficiently in the morning can open their computers at 7 a.m. to start work, finish at 4 p.m., and have a relaxing evening. In “Remote work”, new sparks can be created by leaving your home, where you spend most of your time, and working in a different environment. (Of course, there are basic rules that need to be followed in both cases)
At Rakuten AdRoll, we are a team of professionals. We believe that providing our members with a flexible work environment, based on our commitment to their safety and performance, will ensure their physical and mental well-being and allow them to think flexibly.
Samuel’s overcome challenge and growth achieved as a team
We would like to introduce Samuel, who took advantage of both “Flextime” and “Remote work” at the same time, and had a great experience he used for his growth, both personally and in his work skills.
Samuel came to Japan in 2015, leaving his hometown of Jakarta, Indonesia, fascinated by Japanese culture, spectacular scenery, and the convenience. He and his tight-knit family has been keeping in touch with each other via FaceTime at least once a week, and he never felt lonely living apart from them. However, he was unable to attend his beloved sister’s wedding in Jakarta in February this year.
The pandemic from the previous year made it extremely difficult to return home. But Samuel was always positive, and immediately after he heard about the wedding, he began to carefully and meticulously plan his return over the next few weeks. He applied for a three-week work from Indonesia to his supervisor, and this request was approved, and his supervisor advised him not to put the entire three weeks to work, but to include vacation time so that he could spend more time with his family, it had been a long time since he had last been home. They discussed the company’s systems and infrastructure, including “Flextime” and “Remote work”, as well as his tasks, schedule, and risks of the trip. After many conversations, they reached a conclusion that was a win-win for both parties. (Working from overseas is not allowed in principle. and is only allowed for up to two weeks in consideration of special circumstances. Even if paid leave is set up before or after that, a maximum of one month is allowed)
However, around February 2021, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and Samuel had to change his plans several times. He spent days rethinking plans that followed the ever-changing COVID-19 regulations by governments and airlines. There were times when he felt a sense of frustration that the entire plan might be lost. However, in the end, he was able to attend his sister’s wedding as planned, spend precious time with his family, and return home safely.
In addition, Samuel experienced personal growth and gained he ability to balance his work and personal life for a little over three weeks with a combination of “Flextime” “Remote work”, as well as paid vacations.
Here are a few lessons that Samuel learned through the whole experience
-Meticulous planning and flexible thinking make life more enjoyable.
-Despite difficult circumstances, sudden changes, and fear of failure, he continues to do what he has decided. These will eventually lead to the perfect goal.
-There is value in setting a goal and working towards it.
Some comments from his teammates who were working as usual in Tokyo during the period when Samuel was working from Jakarta.
–There are no problems working anywhere. All you need is advance planning and above all, the understanding and cooperation of your teammates. That’s what led to the success.
–When I saw Samuel’s parents’ house in the background of the zoom meeting, I felt like I was visiting them.
–Perhaps it was because he was able to spend time with his family, his expression through the screen was very soft and cheerful.
As we continue with the New normal, Rakuten AdRoll will continue to listen and lean on the voices of our employees on a daily basis and think of ways to create a rewarding work environment in a timely manner.
Respecting both private and professional life, spending time in balance, and promoting personal growth, that is the Rakuten AdRoll way of working.